No longer just a conduit for mundane traffic, the company data network has become the backbone for many organisations, supporting their entire operation. As more IT infrastructure moves off-premise to be hosted in data centres or the cloud, critical applications are increasingly no longer on the company network.
This means the data network which connects an organisation to its applications and systems is now central to the core services and value many businesses deliver to their customers.
So what should you consider to ensure your network enables optimal business performance?
Performance is not just about bandwidth
Many businesses focus on one aspect when rating how well their network performs – bandwidth. Adding more is often seen as the way to solve this.
However, while having adequate bandwidth is important, bigger links will not necessarily result in better performance, especially if you host your applications offshore in the cloud, where latency becomes an important factor in performance. To ensure you have the lowest latency, use a service provider with the shortest or most direct path to where your data or applications reside.
For instance, Vector Communications can offer direct links into Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure data centres in Australia. These dedicated connections into the hosted services our customers want to access means we can guarantee lower latency, faster access and greater performance for the cloud-based applications and systems our customers rely on.
Performance impacts productivity
Another important consideration is how the performance of the network affects overall productivity.
A slow network can impact the performance of applications and the productivity of staff. For example, on a sluggish network time-sensitive applications, such as your ERP system, will slow down or not work at all, impacting how well your staff can work.
A high-performing network can improve the bottom line through increased uptime, improved application performance and enabling cloud applications to run securely. It also enables remote access for staff working with customers in the field and helps businesses to roll-out new or enhanced services faster.
Reliability and security are vital
The reliability of the network can also have a direct impact on business results. Imagine how a network failure at a crucial time will impact your organisation’s performance. An extended period of downtime can result in lost revenues through reduced sales or lower productivity as staff wait around for IT systems to come online.
A resilient network, with redundancy for critical sites, will allow you to continue operating even during a failure. Knowing how much downtime you can afford and the impact of outages to your business will help you decide when to invest in a redundant link or network.
With big data, cloud solutions, online applications and a mobile workforce, organisations today collect and store more data than ever before, and more of that often sensitive information is now hosted outside the core network. Keeping data secure is therefore paramount. Ensure your network provider has the highest level of security in place so you and your customers’ data are protected.
Performance, reliability, redundancy and security are all important considerations when designing a data network that supports all users and enables business performance.
Data networks play an important role in how efficiently IT resources are connected, utilised and secured. They are the common, critical infrastructure component that needs to be considered upfront to ensure your business gets the most from your investment in technology.
Choosing the right network partner is vital to getting this right for your business. Working with a provider with a network designed from the ground up for business is essential to guarantee optimal business performance.